Nicole A. Conners recently retired from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) after 30 years of service as a special education teacher and then as a program manager for the Special Education Mentor Coach program and Intensive Support Team (IST). In addition, she has served in the capacity of an adjunct professor at George Mason University, University of Virginia, and George Washington University since 2008.
Dr. Conners graduated with her doctorate from George Mason University in 2008 with research interests in developing special education teacher practices from novice to expert through coaching and mentoring. She worked collaboratively with leadership to design and develop a special education mentor coach program in the Office of Special Education Instruction (OSEI). She supported the coaching development of eight mentor coaches who worked closely with novice teachers, zero to three years of experience, for continuous improvement and reflective practice. In addition, she worked collaboratively to design and develop the Intensive Support Team (IST) to build the capacity of administrators and school staff to consistently design, deliver and implement systematic and high-quality behavioral, socio-emotional, and instructional evidence-based practices focused on the whole child.
One capstone during her career within FCPS was as a presenter for the Virginia Department of Educational Leadership Academy (ASELA) Cohort on Coaching for Results. The presentation focused on strategic leadership and the development of learning cultures through professional learning communities (PLCs) and coaching focused on positive student outcomes.